Families Of Seriously Ill Children Throughout Nation May Apply For ONP


No matter where they’re located, families with children battling a life-threatening or terminal disease can apply to participate in Operation North Pole’s Dec. 9 “Fantasy Trip to the North Pole.”

The Des Plaines-based non-profit’s event has traditionally always been held on a Saturday in December. It includes a train ride departing from the downtown Des Plaines station and a “Winter Wonderland” at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont the same day.
This year, applications will be reviewed, regardless of where applicants they live or their hospital affiliation.

The first 75 families who complete the invitation to apply and meet the criteria of the selection committee will be notified and offered the opportunity to attend the event. The application will be accessible on the homepage of when it opens Friday, Aug. 11. If a green button on the website’s banner is not visible, the application is not yet open.

Interested parties should often visit the website often to see if applications are still being accepted.
The following guidelines will help determine if your family is eligible to apply:
• Families may only attend Operation North Pole once.
• ONP does not provide transportation to or from the event.
• The sick child must be 12 years of age or younger at the time of the event.
• The illness must be life-threatening/terminal or result in permanent disability.
• The sick child must be healthy enough to participate in activities that span up to 10 hours.
• ONP requires releases that must be signed by the parent regarding Use of Image and Likeness and a General Hold Harmless. It does not make exceptions to this policy.
• Families agree to authorize hospital and/or physician contact by ONP for verification purposes of information provided.

Since the event will include therapy dogs, miniature horses, loud noises and bright lights, it may not be appropriate for children with certain allergies or sensitivities. Food will also be served at breakfast and lunch and Operation North Pole does not have the ability to accommodate special dietary needs.

Because the event includes a train ride on the Chicago Metra Union Pacific Northwest Line, there is limited space for children requiring use of a motorized wheelchair. If a child requires a wheelchair, apply as early as possible.

Operation North Pole is located at 50 W Oakton St., Des Plaines.

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